Would you rather have a cat or a dog? Be a race car or helicopter? Be in first grade or second grade? Be an animal or a fictional character? Give three reasons and examples, a good conclusion, check for capitalization and punctuation, and you have Writer’s Workshop in my 2nd Grade classroom the last couple of weeks.

As adults, our “Would You Rather?” questions are a bit harder and have more at stake. Would you rather rent or buy? Go back to school or get out of debt? Work outside the home or stay at home?

It’s all about priorities.

My biggest priorities right now are my health & fitness, my career & my finances. When faced with a “Would you rather?” moment, I weigh it in light of my priorities. Would I rather go on a day trip or save that money for a big trip later? Would I rather have that cake or see the scale go down? Go out to eat extra now or save the money and calories for this weekend? Sleep in or get to work early? On their own, I may want all of them. Putting them head to head, however, the higher priority is what should win out most of the time.

Instant Gratification vs. the Long Term Reward?

            In the moment, I would rather have that Mexican food, but afterwards I feel sick. In the long run, I want to lose weight. When a friend invites me somewhere, of course I want to go; I’m a quality time person after all! Laying in my bed is super comfortable…until I’m panicked because I’m running late.

Planning Ahead

As I began to look at my priorities, I was talking with a friend who is a Catholic Priest about his priorities. While all of his duties as a Priest are important, sometimes they can compete with each other. He has already pre-planned the order of his priorities, so when faced with a dilemma of two priorities, he can confidently choose based on his pre-set list of priorities.

Likewise, when I have my meals planned ahead, it is easier to put off the Mexican food until I’m with friends on the weekend. When faced with a socio-financial temptation, I’ve already decided that I’m saving for a trip in April, and I can offer up a cheaper activity that still involves quality time.

Last May, while not phrased as “Would you rather”, I was faced with a choice; resign from my job without a job lined up or commit to another year at a job where I was miserable. My priority to leave meant that I also had to choose financial planning and action steps to find a new job. Believe it or not, this was one of the most peaceful “Would you rather” decisions of my life!

What would you rather do? Take a look at your priorities, make some plans, and in turn, help yourself get what you really want!

I am Alison, and I am a graduate of The Journey Training program, in which participants are equipped with the tools to make life-choices that pay the highest dividends. Would you rather be stuck where you are or find freedom and achieve your dreams? Make YOU a priority and enroll in the next Threshold class!

Oh, and by the way…the answers to the introductory questions are as follows: dog (if I MUST choose), helicopter (would make life way easier), second grade, and fictional character (opposite a dashing and handsome leading man).

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